I stopped working a few years ago and Geoff retired in March 2013. We now have plenty of time to indulge in our hobby of canoe tripping.In the past our canoe trips have always been limited to the 3 weeks that an employer allows you to take off at any one time. Last summer (2013) we went off to Canada for 7 weeks and paddled two rivers back to back. Despite my qualms before the trip of being away from home for such a long time, we both thoroughly enjoyed the time away. Back home, a new idea emerged to make a LONG trip in 2014. The first candidate was the river Danube, not too far from home, and easy to organize. However this did not appeal to Geoff and I went on googling and searching and came across the NFCT.
When I showed the NFCT site to Geoff, his first reaction was extremely positive. We ordered the NFCT book (available for sale in Europe) as a first step to find out more including the “upstream profile" of parts of the trail. We concluded that our skills should be sufficient to tackle the trip with the exception of poling. We therefore spent a few afternoons practicing this art, getting a feel for balance, before committing ourselves to this venture.
Reading blogs of other paddlers, many seem to have support of friends or families along the trail.
With a home base in the Netherlands, we will be on our own. We started investigating how to get to and from the trail and obtaining a canoe.
We found a solution to get to Old Forge using rental car and then a taxi from Utica. We have as of now no simple solution to getting away from Fort Kent but have decided to just wait and let things happen.
With regards to a canoe we approached a few airlines to see if we could get our boat transported but the answers were negative. Rental also did not seem an option as we have no means of returning a boat to Old Forge. We decided to buy a boat and worry about disposing of it at the end of the trip later.
With this minimum of organization, we ordered a set of maps, became a household member of the NFCT and bought some return air tickets from Amsterdam to Boston.
Our 2014 holiday plan is now a reality.